A victory for Democrats and democracy has been reached in a federal court case out of Virginia, where the state Democratic Party challenged the U.S. Postal Service over concerns that they weren’t handling election-related mail as efficiently as required for the orderly functioning of democracy. Virginia has a statewide Election Day next month. Now, the Postal Service has agreed to a set of provisions that bind it to swiftly moving mail-in ballots in Virginia through its system — although whether they’ll do so certainly shouldn’t be an open question to begin with! Concerns about the Postal Service’s handling of election-related mail have persisted under the leadership of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
🚨BREAKING: Federal Court enters consent order in which USPS agrees to prioritize processing and delivering of ALL absentee ballots ahead of Election Day in Virginia.
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) October 28, 2021
As summarized by Democracy Docket, the Postal Service will ‘ensure that completed absentee ballots being returned to county elections officials are properly postmarked and scanned; 2) expedite the delivery of completed absentee ballots; and 3) conduct an “All Clear Certification Process” daily through next Friday. Nov. 5 where employees sweep all locations and certify that facilities are “clear of all Election Mail committed for delivery that day.”’ As part of the agreement, the Postal Service will also produce daily reports about “All clear” sweeps from the previous day. These guidelines will help ensure that no systematic mishandling of mail-in ballots unfolds and has any chance to affect election outcomes in the state.
In Virginia, voters are in the process of choosing their next governor, with Democrat Terry McAuliffe running against Republican Glenn Youngkin, who — unlike other Republican candidates — has seemed to try and keep some distance from Trump, although he’s still very much a right-winger. Although Virginia has leaned towards the Democrats in recent elections, and McAuliffe himself is a former governor, polls have shown the race to be close. Prominent Democrats like voting rights activist Stacey Abrams and President Joe Biden himself have publicly thrown their support behind McAuliffe. In recent campaign remarks on his behalf, Abrams pointed listeners to Texas and Georgia to see examples of what might happen in Virginia if a Republican gets the top job. For starters, both states have imposed draconian new restrictions on elections that are un-connected to actual security needs.